Liberian Government to Infuse US$4M in Indigenous MSMEs
MONROVIA – The Liberian Government will in earnest infuse US$4 million in the economy by doling out loans to over three thousand indigenous Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Liberia.
The fund which was secured from the World Bank is aimed at beefing up the financial portfolio and entrepreneurial capacity of local business people.
The Minister of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) Samuel D. Tweah has emphasized the need for Liberians to be key actors in their economy as was said by President George Weah during his inaugural address.
Min. Tweah has identified MSMEs as the bedrock to resuscitate Liberia ailing economy and is designing several national programs to support small business initiatives.
The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) last week began a weeklong training for MSMEs entrepreneurs who are earmarked to benefit from the loan scheme.
Minister Tweah believes when entrepreneurs are provided with requisite entrepreneurial skills, and guidance they will utilize the funds properly.
Min. Tweah has recognized that many Liberians are into business but lack the technical know-how to run a business, and that is why Liberian owned businesses are not doing well.
The project intends to amalgamate banking institutions, government development partners, and business owners to discuss obstacles and opportunities in helping MSMEs to gain access to domestic financing.
It is projected that the Project benefits will include the stimulation of economic growth, diversification of the economy particularly in rural areas and the creation or sustaining of over 2000 jobs.
The Project will provide Partial Credit Guarantees (PCGs) and lines of credits for on-lending to Participating Financial Institutions (PFIs) to support MSME sub-loans to eligible MSMEs particularly in agriculture, agro-processing and manufacturing sectors for the carrying out of sub – projects.
Participant James K. Ndebeh who is the proprietor of James Business Center noted that he is pleased to be one of participants of the training which is being held at the Monrovia City Corporation (MCC).
Since the beginning of training, he divulged that he has learned the mundane aspects of running a business, and is with adequate conviction that at the end of the training, he will have got vast experience on business.
Speaking further, he said his business has been faced with series of challenges which include: lack of funding, high inflation rate, and the exchange rate. Mr. Ndebeh operates an agri-business which produces pepper, cabbage and other vegetables; he sometimes travels to Guinea to purchase livestock.
“The continuous capacity building of marketers will help a lot; it is not so much about the money given by government but providing professional mentoring platform for business owners is cardinal to their entrepreneurial journey”, he noted.
For her part, Mrs. Gertrude M. Anderson, General Manager at Organization for Clean Environment and Neighborhood Services, said she is very delighted to be at the workshop and appreciates the government for such initiative. Mrs. Anderson runs a waste management business at MACOBENE Community.
She intoned that if participants take the training serious, it will certainly build their capacity.
In addition, she said if the government continues to support MSMEs it will lead to economic growth because as MSMEs grow – they create jobs.
she called on government to help MSMEs with financial experts who will guide them in their businesses.
It can be recalled, in early 2017, the Government of Liberia (GoL) received a grant of US$ 4.8 million from the World Bank through the MSMEs Post-Ebola Reconstruction Project.
The grant is intended to provide finance to MSMEs on a sustainable term and to enhance the capacities of local private sector financial institutions to lend profitably. US$ 4.0 million out of the total US$ 4.8 million was used for direct credit to MSMEs while the US$ 800k was for Technical Assistance and innovations.
Small businesses are the bedrock to every society and these are not only encouraged to flourish by every economy where progress is expected, they are greatly supported.
Several national programs to support small business initiatives by everyday people form part of the overall narratives for even the world’s most burgeoning economies.
This is the reason why hefty amount of the national budget are paid as subsidies to farmers in places like Europe and North America.
In countries where there are spaces in the economy for citizens to establish and grow small businesses those economies thrive. But in economies as Liberia’s where manufacturing is non-existent small business built from certain skill sets would prove economically vital and viable.